To make it to this point, the Rams took down the Arizona Cardinals, Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the San Francisco 49ers. Meanwhile, the Bengals defeated the Las Vegas Raiders, the Tennessee Titans, and Patrick Mahomes’ mighty Kansas City Chiefs.
While Los Angeles was a clear contender for most of the season, Cincinnati was not. Many thought that the Bengals would not make it past the first or second round, but they have proven to be a formidable foe in the playoffs. Let’s take a look at some key matchups heading into the final game of the season.
Joe Burrow vs. Matthew Stafford
What will make this year’s super bowl unique, is the appearance of two brand new quarterbacks, who have both taken separate journeys to get here. On one hand, Matthew Stafford has been in the league for 13 years, spending most of those with the Detroit Lions. After only three playoff trips in twelve seasons with Detroit, Stafford has taken the Rams to the highest level in just his first year with the team.
Just an unbelievably clutch play by Matthew Stafford & Cooper Kupp. Cooper Kupp is your MVP as far as I’m concerned, and he went up against the best Defensive Back from Tampa Bay during the most crucial offensive play. Effortless throw from our franchise QB! What a thriller! pic.twitter.com/h6mNh6GQLh
Then, you have the anomaly of Joe Burrow. The young quarterback has taken Cincinnati to their first super bowl berth since 1988. In just his second year, Burrow set the franchise record for most yards thrown in a year, which is quite impressive when you consider he tore both his ACL and MCL the year prior.
With neither quarterback having any super bowl experience, it will be interesting to see if they rise to the occasion, or fold beneath the pressure. Both have been in similar situations before, but there is nothing quite like the NFL’s super bowl atmosphere.
Considering the Rams and Bengals both have plenty of offensive weapons, the quarterback who puts up stronger numbers will most likely be victorious.
Ja’Marr Chase vs. Jalen Ramsey
One of the most exciting battles going into the super bowl will be Ja’Marr Chase facing off against Jalen Ramsey. The two superstar athletes will duel for the first time in their respective careers. Chase, a rookie, has taken the league over by storm. Meanwhile, Ramsey has solidified himself as one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks over the past few seasons.
This matchup might just define how the game goes for Cincinnati’s offense. If Chase is not able to find ways to get open on Ramsey, it will put pressure on others to make plays. Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, and Joe Mixon have to step up, allowing Burrow to not solely rely on Ja’Marr.
Both of these players have had phenomenal seasons, and we should expect nothing but the best from Chase and Ramsey on Sunday. Grab your popcorn, folks, this is going to be a show to remember.
Super Bowl Experience Advantage?
Another factor to consider is the sheer amount of SB experience the Rams have compared to Cincinnati. The Bengals only have one active player who has played in previous super bowls, Ricardo Allen. The veteran cornerback has only started one game for Cincinnati this season, and who knows if he will see much playing time on Sunday.
In contrast, Los Angeles has a handful of starters who all have super bowl experience; i.e. Aaron Donald, Von Miller, Cooper Kupp, Andrew Whitworth, and others. On top of that, Sean McVay coached Los Angeles in the super bowl a few years ago, while this is new territory for Cincinnati’s Zac Taylor.
Will this come back to haunt Cincinnati? Only time will tell. However, with the Rams being the more experienced team in this situation, it gives them an advantage heading into Sunday’s game.
Super Bowl LVI is certainly going to be an entertaining one, with both the Bengals and Rams playing elite football the past few weeks. With so much talent shared between the two squads, it should come down to the wire. We are looking forward to watching the Super Bowl, before shifting our focus fully onto the USFL and their debut in April.
Who do you think will win the Super Bowl this year? Will Joe Burrow or Matt Stafford perform better? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!